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Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Review: Dance with the Enemy by Rob Sinclair


Dance with the Enemy by Rob Sinclair is a great first novel that introduces us to an excellent cast of characters, a great story, and descriptive details that will capture you and hold you tight. It's a great thrill ride full of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens next. It's a great beginning to a series that has a lot of life and potential, too.

Carl Logan is an asset for the Joint Intelligence Agency (JIA) along with his boss, Charles McCabe (Mackie). Logan is troubled and broken from recently being captured and tortured by the world's most ruthless terrorist, Youssef Salim. A brief look into Logan's past helps to start painting the reason for his troubles but things are about to change. Frank Modena, the Attorney General of the United States of America, is abducted while in Paris and Logan finds himself in active service again to find and rescue Modena. Although most of the JIA committee members don't want Logan on this mission, Mackie stands up for him and shows his dedication and unique friendship towards Logan. Logan begins his search with unlikely leads and follows his gut to begin following the trail.

As Logan begins to piece things together he encounters Special Agent Angela Grainger of the FBI. While each is suspicious of the other, they combine their forces to look for Modena, as well as help each other resolve similar past issues. They are hot on the trail of one of the world's worst terrorists but was Modena kidnapped to supply demands for a terrorist group or are there other ulterior motives at play? The reasons for taking the Attorney General are starting to become blurred while relationships are formed but there is more at stake than just the life of Modena. Revenge and closure, betrayal and trust. Lines are crossed but this is what it takes to dance with the enemy.

Dance with the Enemy was really good, especially for a first novel. The one element I can't get over was the detail given in the book. The descriptions given of the areas that were traveled were amazing and made me feel as if I was actually there seeing what was being described. The sequence descriptions help me visualize the action as it took place, too, and it was very realistic. Nothing over-the-top, no overkill - just true to life scenarios that really helped make this such a believable story. Side note - There are torture scenes but they aren't horrible. I hate torture scenes in general but this was bearable and for that I'm happy. this would have to be the only issue I had.

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you focused and the story was very well thought out. I definitely recommend putting Dance with the Enemy on your list of must reads.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: Area 7 by Matthew Reilly


Area 7 by Matthew Reilly is the second book in the Shane Schofield series and it offers the same great character depth and development, storyline, and action that we got with Ice Station. Of course the stakes have to be upped on the second round and Reilly doesn't disappoint at all. Scarecrow and his team have to protect the President while he is being hunted by one of the best armed forces in the world, stop a nuclear attack on US soil, protect a vaccine for a deadly, ethnic biological weapon, and keep crazy prisoners at bay. Just another day at the office for Shane Schofield.

After the incident that transpired at Wilkes Ice Station, Scarecrow is reassigned to work on the Presidential detail aboard Marine One. He also brings along a team with him where we get to reacquaint ourselves with Mother and Fox while meeting Books son, Book II, new Marines, and the Secret Service's Special Agent Juliet Janson. Things are going well until a visit to Area 7 brings on a new game that no one is prepared for. The President is being hunted by the US Air Force's 7th Squadron while the Marines and Secret Service try to protect him and get him safely to the "football" so that a nuclear war doesn't start within the US borders. A secret virus targeting specific ethnic groups, as well as its vaccine, is being targeted by another group all while the most vile of prisoners have escaped and are waging their own war on everyone inside Area 7. Twists and turns keep everyone on their toes but when you have the Scarecrow and his trusty maghook, nothing is impossible.

Area 7 was a great story and I actually enjoyed the one locale setup again except for the boat chase. The boat chase just dragged on a bit for me but it was still good and, I suppose, needed to continue (or stretch out) the story a bit. Otherwise, WOW! The characters are moving forward nicely and you can't help but become attached to the team and what they go through. I was on the edge of the couch in anticipation for most of this book and it just moved through like you were a part of it. Great way to keep a lot of the old elements (Maghook, anyone?) while introducing new roles for the heroes, and heroines, and new concepts that could, maybe happen. Now, what happens next.....?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: Dourado by David Wood


Dourado by David Wood is the first book in the Dane Maddock Adventures and it brings us on an adventure in finding a mythical sword that may not be of this Earth. We get to meet a variety of interesting characters and backgrounds, travel the world, and have the great archaeology/action combo that has become so popular lately. This is a fast-paced, enjoyable read with an action packed story that goes the distance.

We meet the hero's of the story, ex-Navy SEALs Dane Maddock and Uriah "Bones" Bonebreak, as they are sought after by their former Navy commander's daughter, Kaylin Maxwell, to help solve her father's murder and find the lost sword of Goliath. Dane and Bones, having left the Navy, are marine archaeologists and they are always searching for a new discovery but they don't know what they're about to get into this time. Their search is met with peril right from the beginning as they are attacked while at home looking for clues. As they continue on with their search, they are sent to look for the shipwreck of the Dourado, where the story originates from, and search for more clues to complete the quest that Kaylin's father started. As their search continues, we move from the wreck of the Dourado to New York, where betrayals take place and questions begin to arise as to what, exactly, the sword is, and then on to Petra where their is one confusing underground sequence. Dane also meets his future arch nemesis here, the Dominion, and it sets everything up for future stories.

I, of course, love the genre of archaeology/action so this was a must read for me and it was definitely worth it. This is a series that is spreading into other books so get ready for a whole lot of reading in the future. This was a great story. I could have gone and on but I don't like to spoil the story to much so you will have to read for yourself to find out everything that happens. There is a lot to this, which I like, and it helps to set up a lot of the future novels. There are quite a few characters (which I only mentioned a handful here) that give great life to this story and the way they each interact with each other is impressive. Things have been tied together very nicely in this book and it makes it easy to expand out to other realms in this series. My only disappointment with this was the underground palace. I got so confused and turned around I ended up drawing a map and marking things off as I went so I could try and understand how things were happening. It was good but really confusing. Overall, the Dane Maddock Adventures are a great series and this first novel, Dourado, really gets you going.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: Ice Station by Matthew Reilly


Ice Station by Matthew Riley is a fast-paced, edge of your seat thrill ride that will leave you gasping for air and begging for more. The characters are well developed and easy to associate with, the plot is plausible, and the action is fast and exhilarating. Reilly brings in a great setting, interesting characters and back-stories, and a great host of weapons that make you go "Wow". Prepare for adventure.....

The setting for this is unique to some of the books I have read lately because it centers on one locale, Antarctica (well, more specifically Wilkes Ice Station and a small area surrounding it), instead of traveling all around the globe. I was a little hesitant at first when I found this out but I decided to give it try anyways. It seems that an alien spacecraft may have been discovered at the Wilkes Ice Station in Antarctica and the US is sending a crack Marine Recon Unit (16) in to guard the station until reinforcements arrive. Lt. Shane Schofield, call-sign Scarecrow, leads this unit and finds out there is more going on than meets the eye. From dealing with French "scientists", a French paratrooper unit, a large British SAS force, possible aliens, and a secret US organization, Scarecrow and his team - Mother, Fox, Book, and more - will find out just how tough they are and whether they can complete the mission they've been assigned with.

The main characters are gripping and the depth and detail that Reilly gives to each of these main characters makes me feel as if I'm a part of Scarecrow's team as well. While some of the story dragged on for me, which I find to be an issue with single location settings anyways, there were enough surprises, edge of your seat moments, and just plain awesomeness to keep me interested and coming back for more. While many people have complained that a lot of the action is just to far out there, I have to say that it's always plausible and Reilly does an excellent job in making you feel like you are there in the middle of the action, ready to jump in and help at any time. I loved this story and can't wait to continue on in the series.

P.S. - I want a maghook. :-)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Splashdown by David Wood and Rick Chesler


Splashdown by David Wood and Rick Chesler is a Dane and Bones Origins Story that gives us another look at the early adventures that these two Navy SEALs had together. This also helps to give some background into how they learned many of their skills used in marine archaeology after their "retirement" from the Navy. This is a fast paced ride that I couldn't put down and includes a lot of interesting characters and..... creatures. I won't explain much on those since i think they are an awesome part of this story that you will just have to read to find out about.

This is the first Origins Story I have read and it gives just as much excitement as the Dane Maddock Adventure series but with more military background since both Dane and Bones are Navy SEALs. We join Dane and Bones while they are finishing up submersible pilot training in the Pacific and get to see how the two learn to work together and forge their close bond. The training comes in handy and is one reason they are picked for a special assignment to retrieve a Cold War-era nuclear bomb a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida. Excitement and mayhem are running right at the start of this adventure and it doesn't let up. From dealing with a television crew, to underwater submersible fights, to escaping from a crazed Russian submariner, Dane and Bones take us on a non-stop adventure where the fate of Washington D.C. will be decided and they will face off against some pretty deadly creatures you might find hanging out with Godzilla. You'll see. :-)

Splashdown is definitely worth a read and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I even read it a second time right away and was still captivated by it. I can't wait to go back and read the rest of the Origins Stories. I did receive a complimentary copy of Splashdown in eBook format for the Kindle from David Wood for preview and review. The opinions in this review are mine alone and from my own personal viewpoint.